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Ho Chi Minh City set to welcome more medical tourists

Tuesday, May 23, 2017, 14:55 GMT+7

Travelers seeking both leisure and medical procedures during their trip to Vietnam will be the target of a plan by Ho Chi Minh City authorities to promote this type of tourism.

‘Medical tourism in Ho Chi Minh City’ is the name of a project unveiled by the city’s health and tourism departments at a recent meeting.

The plan, set to be implemented as soon as next month, will integrate five medical services into the city’s tourism products, being dentistry, traditional Vietnamese medicine, cosmetics, general health check-ups and disease screening, according to Dr. Tang Chi Thuong, deputy director of the municipal Department of Health.

The two departments will work to publish a handbook and map of major hospitals and medical institutions in the city in order to help visitors find their desired medical services.

A seminar on setting a direction for the development of Ho Chi Minh City’s medical tourism will be held in the first week of June to provide further details of the plan.

According to the Department of Health, Ho Chi Minh City is the medical hub of southern Vietnam, with a range of public and private hospitals able to provide medical services at a level the equivalent of those in the region.

However, medical tourism has not really been acknowledged by the relevant authorities, causing Vietnam to fall behind its regional peers including China, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia in terms of the number of medical travelers entering the country each year.

According to statistics from the Ministry of Health, around 50,000 Vietnamese travel abroad every year to seek medical treatment at an estimated cost of US$2 billion, while Vietnam earns approximately $1 billion from medical bills paid by foreigners each year.

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